Chicago has become the American city most associated with gun violence over the past few years. In 2016, Chi-town reported more than 770 homicides, which marked a 19-year high for the city. Fortunately, that number has decreased in the years since, totaling 660 in 2017 and 561 in 2018.
Sauk Valley reports the decrease in homicides is due in part to an additional 1,000 officers patrolling the streets. Police also credit new high-tech nerve centers in 20 of 22 police districts. Using gunshot-detection technology and predictive analytics, officers can quickly get to areas where violence is likely to erupt.
Shootings saw a decrease as well; an estimated 2,391 shootings took place in 2018, with 2,948 shooting victims, according to NBC Chicago. There were 2,777 shootings in 2017 and 3.550 in 2016. Stats do not include killings on area expressways, police-involved shootings, self-defense killings or death investigations.
“Twenty eighteen represented another consecutive year where Chicago experienced fewer murders, shootings, robberies, burglaries and thefts since the same time last year,” Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said in a press conference, NBC Chicago reports.
The annual murder count may have dropped, but it is still higher than those of New York City (278) and Los Angeles (243) combined. It was also a tough year for the Chicago Police Department (CPD).
“This has been one of the most tragic years in CPD’s history,” Johnson said. Several officers lost their lives in the line of duty during 2018. “Quite frankly, we are all able to stand here tonight because of what these men stood for and what they did for our city.”